Ray's Workshop

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Workshop by Ray posted 09-23-2006 06:22 PM 4831 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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86 posts in 5767 days

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My workshop is a bit different in that it is in a round building! My wife and I have built and live in a sculptured concrete structure made up of 7 domes. My shop is at the far end of the garages. The curves do present some unique challenges but some real advantages also. I have built shelves along one wall and because of the curve I can store 2 – 5 gal buckets under the first shelf and it still does not take up room within the workspace. The ceiling is 14’ tall so swinging an 8’ board around is no problem. We did put a skylight on top so the shop is flooded with natural light. Since we had the advantage of building I was able to install a vacuum system piping under the floor so there are no overhead pipes to get in the way. We also installed a set of double doors leading into the garages so it is easy to move things in and out plus the shop can expand as needed for larger projects. Good thing my truck occupies that side of the garage.

21 comments so far

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5762 days

#1 posted 09-23-2006 08:40 PM

I like it- but then, I like anything with rounded edges- and yours are very rounded. Your shop looks to be well outfitted. You have an enviable table saw with excellent storage underneath. I can also envy your Performax sander. I could use one, though I’ve always had trouble getting the sandpaper on right. As long as I keep to ve been making a holder for some palm carving gouges using just the band saw for all the cutting. Half-lap joints are so easy on the band saw.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

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86 posts in 5767 days

#2 posted 10-29-2006 12:10 AM

You are not alone with trouble installing the sandpaper on the Performax. I have gotten so desperate (last piece) that I have used duct tape on the inside to hold it in place. It works but you must remember not to run your board over too far!

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5807 days

#3 posted 04-05-2007 11:52 AM

Great looking domes.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Sawhorse's profile


286 posts in 5936 days

#4 posted 04-05-2007 11:54 AM

Very interesting nice space utilization…

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5657 days

#5 posted 04-05-2007 12:19 PM

I was wondering about the lack of corners. I’d probably be shoving junk behind shelves, never to find the stuff again..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Ray's profile


86 posts in 5767 days

#6 posted 04-05-2007 05:25 PM

Not having corners is or can be an advantage!
I took advantage of the curved walls with shelves that do not take up usable floor space. Let me explain – if I stand next to the wall with my sholder against it I have well over a foot of floof space from my foot to the wall. By building a 4’ wide shelf unit that conforms to the wall I have losts of storage space.
(Side view of storage shelves)!
I leave the floor area open so I can stuff 5 gal buckets under it and I can get almost 2 buckets under the shelves one in front of the other. I find that writing the contents on the buckets helps me find stuff again. the real trick is that each shelf is deeper in the center of the unit as it folows the wall around so its a little tricky to build but stores a lot of stuff!!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5657 days

#7 posted 04-05-2007 05:56 PM

ah!! I saw “seeing’ a rectangle shelf. Brilliant.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5658 days

#8 posted 04-05-2007 06:40 PM

Nice shop dataman. I can see some advantages in having a rounded shop instead of one with corners. I like the natural light and the high ceilings too. I love that table saw and bench combination.

How is the temperature in your shop? Cooler or hotter than normal?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5897 days

#9 posted 04-05-2007 06:46 PM

Great Shop dataman. I see that you’ve got all your corners covered. Er. bases covered!

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Ray's profile


86 posts in 5767 days

#10 posted 04-05-2007 09:04 PM

The shop temp is usually very comfortable! The dome shell is highly insulated on the outside with polyurethane foam and is equivalent to about an R65 or better and it goes from below grade covering the entire exterior surface with no breaks. Normal (stick) construction uses R13 and if one where able to slide all the studs to one side of your wall 1/4 of the wall wouldn’t even be insulated. Sorry! I will get off my soapbox (can you tell I am a fan of these incredible structures?).

I did heat the shop (radiant in floor) so I keep it around 60 in the winter. The tallest part of the dome is 14’! I can easily take an 8 or 10’ piece of material and turn it over without hitting things – that’s so cool!

All the windows do open so I take advantage of the summer breezes.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5318 days

#11 posted 04-05-2008 03:09 PM

Hi Dataman,

You certainly have one of the more uniquely designed shops that I have seen. The headroom that you have is wonderful. You also have a nice set of tools to work with as well. I would enjoy working in there.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jm82435's profile


1286 posts in 5238 days

#12 posted 02-17-2009 08:44 PM

wow, that is really cool structure. Where can I get more info on these?

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Ray's profile


86 posts in 5767 days

#13 posted 02-17-2009 09:46 PM

You can start at our web site we have documented all the steps we took to build the (now) 8 domes. The site started as a way to communicate to our friends and relative as we progrressed on the house but now has turned into a lot more. We are always happy to share our experiences and answer questions. You will find our links on our web page. We also are open to people stopping by so if you are ever in Colorado come on over!

View jm82435's profile


1286 posts in 5238 days

#14 posted 02-17-2009 11:08 PM

your link didn’t work for me, but I figured it out…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 4938 days

#15 posted 02-22-2009 05:39 PM

now thats cool


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